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Bring back: Shenmue Article - Dreamcast

Bring back: Shenmue

Posted by Thomas Worthington at Thu, Nov 27 2008 11:32:03 CST 887 views

Yu Suzuki's masterpiece needs its long awaited return!


Fans can be fans of anything they want to be, but you’ll probably never find fans more devoted than the fans of the Dreamcast critically acclaimed flop Shenmue, when the answer is no, they just keep on asking. For those out of the loop let’s catch up shall we?

A little back history

Shenmue was a Dreamcast game created by Yu Suzuki of Sega’s AM2 following the story of Ryo Hazuki who is avenging the death of his father in a search of his killer Lan Di.

You’d travel from the city, to harbours chatting to all kinds of people and while most people would give you some cheap excuse to skip a conversation, it was one of the first games to have such a realistic world than ran like clockwork something I wouldn’t see done so well until I played Grand Theft Auto IV. The story spanned three discs filled up with plenty of searching, fork lifting and excellent dialogue and cut scenes to boot. The game enjoyed a lot of critical success due to being one of the most expensive games of all time to develop, around $70,000,000 to be exact. It needed to sell many times more what it did just to cut even, that didn’t happen.

The sequel followed with a discreet release on the DC and a worldwide release on the Xbox, where Ryo took his search to Hong Kong and without the family life at the dojo to keep him down, he was now free to unleash all his fury on the truly massive world that shared as much depth and secrets as the first game. It truly expanded on everything the first game did and managed to pull off an epic masterpiece which sadly didn’t get the same amount of attention as the first game.  The game left us on a pretty strange turn of events and a cliff hanger I’ll never be able to get my head around, but the series so far ranks extremely high on my scale of games.

So what now?

The future of the game has been left in hiatus since the release of Shenmue 2 with a sequel planned but never finished, the plan was to split the story into chapter and because each disc essentially became a chapter of the game. No one really knows whether the intention was to spread the game over multiple sequels or due to low sales force the story to end with Shenmue 3.

To keep spirits high, an MMO version of the game titled ‘Shenmue Online’ was in development and which suffered tough development, its current state is "pending" the words of Suzuki himself fomr an interview with Spong back in September 2008. The point of Shenmue Online wasn’t very certain and it proved to be a game not too many people cared about, only that it was related to the Shenmue franchise.


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